psychometrician psychometrist

A psychometrist is an important profession within the world of assessment and psychology.  Their primary role is to deliver and interpret assessments, typically the sorts of assessments that are delivered in a one-on-one clinical situation.  For example, they might give IQ tests to kids to identify those who qualify as Gifted, then explain the results to parents and teachers.  Obviously, there are many assessments which do not require one-on-one in-person delivery like this; psychometrists are unique in that they are trained on how to deliver these complex types of assessments.  This post will describe more about the role of a psychometrist.

What is a Psychometrist?

A psychometrist is someone involved in the use and administration of assessments, and in most cases is working in the field of psychological testing. This is someone who uses tests every day and is familiar with how to administer such tests (especially complex ones like IQ) and interpret their results to provide feedback to individuals. Some have doctoral degrees as a clinical/counseling psychologist and have extensive expertise in that role; for example, the use of an Autism-spectrum screening test to effectively diagnose patients and develop individualized plans.

Consider the following definition from the National Association of Psychometrists:

A psychometrist is responsible for the administration and scoring of psychological and neuropsychological tests under the supervision of a clinical psychologist or clinical neuropsychologist. 


Where do psychometrists work?

The vast majority of psychometrists work in a clinical setting.  One might work in an Autism center.  One might be at a psychiatric hospital.  One might be at a neurological clinic.  Some school psychologists also perform this work, working directly in schools.  In all cases, they are working directly with the examinee (patient, student, etc.).

Psychometrist Training and Certification

Psychometrists have at least a Bachelor’s degree in psychology or related field, often a Master’s.  There is typically a clinical training component.  Learn more at the National Association of Psychometrists

There is a specific certification for psychometrists, offered by the Board of Certified Psychometrists.  This involves passing a certification exam of 120 questions over 2.5 hours; the test is professionally designed and administered to meet best practices for credentialing exams.

Career Opportunities for Psychometrists

Psychometrists have excellent career prospects, given the general shortage of healthcare personnel.  However, as their training is much less than doctoral-level roles like a psychologist or psychiatrist, the pay rate is far less.

Psychometrist vs. Related Roles

One misconception that I often see on the internet is the distinction or lack thereof between the related job titlesSome professionals are only involved with the engineering of assessments, usually not even in the field of psychology.  They do not work with patients.  Others work with patients but focus on counseling rather than assessment.  The most flagrant offender, curiously, is Google. Like most companies, we utilize AdWords, and find that some job titles and terms are treated interchangeably when they are not related.

A psychometrist usually works under the direction of a psychiatrist or psychologist, though sometimes a psychologist serves as their own psychometrist.  For example, a psychologist at a mental health clinic is in charge of screening patients and treating them, but might have staff to deliver psychological assessments.  But a psychologist in a school might not have staff for that, and also delivers IQ tests to students.

For clarification, here is a comparison of related job titles:


Aspect Psychometrist Psychometrician Psychologist Psychiatrist
How are they involved with assessment? Administration & interpretation Engineering & validation Patient treatment Medical treatment
Education Bachelor’s/Master’s in Psychology (often Counseling) PhD in Psychometrics, Psychology, or Education PhD in Psychology (often Counseling or Clinical) MD (Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy)
Quantitative skills Interpreting scores with summary statistics (mean, standard deviation, z-scores, correlations) Complex analyses like item response theory or factor analysis; complex designs such as adaptive testing Quantitative research outside of assessment, such as comparing treatment methods Some training, but primary purpose is patient care
Soft skills Works extensively with patients and students, often in a counseling role, and can be highly trained on those aspects Often a pure data analyst, but some work with expert panels for topics like job analysis or Angoff studies; never with patients or students Works extensively with patients and students, often in a counseling role, and can be highly trained on those aspects Works extensively with patients and students, often in a counseling role, and can be highly trained on those aspects
Example Staff in a clinic that delivers IQ and other assessments to patients Researcher involved in designing high-stakes exams such as medical certification or university admissions Clinical therapist in private practice Supervisory staff in a clinic or inpatient facility that treats patients


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Nathan Thompson, PhD

Nathan Thompson earned his PhD in Psychometrics from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on computerized adaptive testing. His undergraduate degree was from Luther College with a triple major of Mathematics, Psychology, and Latin. He is primarily interested in the use of AI and software automation to augment and replace the work done by psychometricians, which has provided extensive experience in software design and programming. Dr. Thompson has published over 100 journal articles and conference presentations, but his favorite remains .
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